FRANKLIN (AP) — Nissan North America Inc. has begun installing 30 solar-assisted charging stations at its Smyrna plant and its headquarters in Franklin.
The advanced solar chargers are designed to charge the Nissan LEAF. The company soon will build the LEAF and the batteries that power it at the Smyrna plant southeast of Nashville.
The company said in a news release the battery plant is 75 percent complete with an expected operational date of late next year.
The solar chargers will be operational for use by Nissan employees and visitors by July 1.
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JACKSBORO (AP) — The former principal of Jacksboro Elementary School has been charged with theft and official misconduct after a state audit found she profited from the sale of air purifiers that were never delivered to the school.
A Thursday letter to the Campbell County School Board from the state comptroller's office says Sandra Chaniott made more than $8,500 on the undelivered items. She also made more than $2,000 on the purifiers that were delivered, although it violates district policy for a principal to profit from sales to her school.
Moreover, Chaniott was paid more than $6,800 for selling air purifiers at a previous school. It was not determined how many of those were delivered.
Chaniott also violated district policy by hiring her son and another person to paint the school without putting the project out to bid. They were paid more than $10,800 and Chaniott endorsed the checks to herself, telling auditors she did so because the painters did not have bank accounts.
Auditors also noted that from July 1, 2009, to July 31, 2010, during Chaniott's first 13 months as principal, the school activity fund balance went from $44,000 to $4,000.
Auditors referred the matter to the local district attorney general's office, and Chaniott was indicted last week.
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NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam disputes assertions by the Tennessee Education Association's president that teachers feel demoralized and disrespected by new legislation, including a recently passed bill that would limit educators' collective bargaining powers.
Speaking to reporters, Haslam said a state Education Department-sponsored survey "didn't show that at all."
The Tennessee Teaching, Leading and Learning Survey, which was conducted in February and March by the state Education Department, would give teachers and other certificated school personnel "a chance to give feedback on a lot of different issues," the governor said.
"Can morale be better? You bet," said Haslam, who plans to sign the bill shifting from collective bargaining to so-called "collaborative bargaining." ''But it did not show a serious morale issue at all for Tennessee teachers."
Educators were asked dozens of questions, including a number about "school leadership." For example, three out of four teachers surveyed said they agreed or strongly agreed "there is an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect."
But TEA lobbyist Jerry Winters said the survey, co-sponsored by the association, dealt with teachers' attitudes toward individual school governance.
No questions were asked about the union-busting legislation, he told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Winters said he “would strongly maintain that teacher morale is at an all-time low largely because of the unrelenting attacks on teachers by the majority in this Legislature.”
If Haslam disagrees, Winters said, “he should go talk with a number of teachers across the state and see how they really feel.”